After the disaster that was Bellator 149, I was really looking forward to the UFC to bring me out of the depression. The UFC’s answer to the Bellator’s nonsense was UFC 196, headlined by Lightweight Champ Rafael dos Anjos vs. Featherweight Champ Conor McGregor. This “Champion vs. Champion” fight would have broken UFC records. Regardless of the outcome, history would’ve been made on March 5th. The news of RDA’s broken foot comes at the worst possible time as Rafael dos Anjos vs. Conor McGregor has been canceled.
Rafael dos Anjos breaks foot, UFC 196 Super Fight canceled
Ariel Helwani of MMAfighting.com first reported the injury to the Lightweight Champion.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) February 23, 2016
So the story is dos Anjos (RDA) was sparring on Friday, he throws a leg kick to his partner, and as his sparring partner checks the leg kick, dos Anjos connects with his knee and breaks his foot. I broke my foot sparring once: not fun.
Nate Diaz vs Conor McGregor set for UFC 196
As I said earlier, this is devastating news for the UFC and the fans. Unfortunately, with the recent string of injuries to high profile fighters, the borderline barbaric training style of Kings MMA (RDA’s gym), and RDA’s injury history, I cannot say that I am completely shocked at the news. Depressed? Yes. But not shocked.
So looking forward, the UFC had a few options to save UFC 196, with the caveat that all of the possibilities would be on less than two weeks notice (a HUGE risk). Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone’s name was mentioned.
Just spoke to @Cowboycerrone. He said he's happy to fly to London or Vegas next. Best part? He's serious…
— Dave Sholler (@Sholler_UFC) February 22, 2016
They already have a deep hatred for each other, but Cerrone did just fight on Sunday (2/21).
Caution: Explicit language
Cerrone is widely known to take 4 or 5 fights per year, so this was a logical choice. A fight with Anthony Pettis would be exciting, but Pettis lost his last fight to Eddie Alverez in January, so that was not likely. A fight with Eddie Alverez will not bring in the big numbers that the UFC would want, so although possible, it was not likely. Maybe have Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate for the Women’s Bantamweight Title become the sole main event? Maybe, but unlikely. Which brings me to Nate Diaz.
The following tweet is McGregor’s response to Nate Diaz’s profanity-laced tirade towards McGregor:
And the following tweet is Diaz’s response to a potential matchup with McGregor after news of RDA’s injury broke:
He's going to have to get on his knees and beg…
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) February 23, 2016
Enough said? Enough Said.
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) February 24, 2016
What a time to be alive!
Featured image via Ariel Helwani’s official twitter page